ChattaBOOga ready to entertain, build community
Events range from haunted houses, ghost tours, Aquarium oddities and more
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — WARNING: This video contains flashing aid and strobe lights. Viewer discretion is advised.
While Halloween won’t be here until Monday, the chills and thrills of spooky season can be found all over Chattanooga this weekend.
Whether you want to enjoy a relaxing, yet odd, stroll through the Tennessee Aquarium or you’re looking for a good scare from a killer clown, ChattaBOOga is looking to deliver.
This is Miguel Wattson, with two T’s — the Tennessee Aquarium’s electric eel.
Residents can actually see the electricity he releases on this light meter, and he’ll even light up these pumpkins with enough power.
About a 10-minute drive away, screams can be heard and fear can be felt all throughout Dread Hollow.
Both are just two of the many events ChattaBOOga has featured this month.
“There’s just so much to do as a family here,” said Hannah Hammon, PR Manager of Chattanooga Tourism Co. “We can have good, clean fun but experience the city kind of haunted.”
Hammon says the month-long event provides both frights and fun for all ages — some particularly putting the emphasis on fright.
“It is our goal to scare you and we’re going to do everything we can to scare you,” said Dread Hollow Co-Owner Josh Philpott. “We consider ourselves to be extreme as far as ‘in your face.’ [We’re] going to appeal to all the senses.”
But others may prefer facts over fear this Halloween.
Thom Benson says the Aquarium’s “Oddtober” shines a light on the “weird and wonderful” side of aquatic life in the spirit of the season.
“So, that could be the alligator snapping turtle with that fishing lure in its mouth and how it lures smaller fish in — it looks like a stump and catches those fish right away,” Benson said. “Or it could be some of our saltwater creatures here in the Ocean Journey Building.”
However the community wants to celebrate ChattaBOOga, the city has provided a variety of options.
But those involved say regardless of how it’s enjoyed, one thing all attractions provide is a sense of community.
“We have this opportunity to draw folks from all over to the Chattanooga area to celebrate fun things like ‘Oddtober’ at the Tennessee Aquarium or what happens at Rock City and Ruby Falls,” Benson said.
“Chattanooga [as a] whole is a great city,” said Dread Hollow Co-Owner Todd Patton. “With it embracing Halloween, which we love, from the Zoo to the Aquarium [and] everything like that — it’s awesome to have that.”
Hammon says the city’s “haunted” history gets those at the Tourism Company excited for ChattaBOOga every year.
Other events open for the weekend include city ghost tours, escape rooms, a lantern tour at Ruby Falls and more.